Saturday, January 06, 2007

Thesis-izing Galore

Joy! Rapture! I have finished step # 6 of my thesis which was to take all the paper files I had created for each of the topics within my thesis and make them into electronic, i.e. Word, files. Whoo hoo!!!

Now that I've figured out how the individual voices come together to talk about a topic I have to figure out how the topics (family, entertainment, school etc...) go together to form a story. I may have an honest to goodness first draft of this sucker by the end of this week. Holy crap.

You're all probably having a difficult time figuring out what exactly I'm talking about when I talk about my thesis. So I'll give you a preview. This particular topic is "Rink Collapse." In 1969 the arena in my home town collapsed killing one person. Instead of me writing about it in the third person, I'm using other people's voices to tell the story (FYI: Denis and Susan are my parents. And yes, it is spelled "Denis", not "Dennis."). Here you are:

David: The Notre Dame arena looked like one of those new metal fabricated buildings, semicircular. That was one of those years when we had had so much snow there was no place to put it.

Denis: We ended up with two hundred and eighty, three hundred inches of snow. I played baseball that year and the first half of the season we had to play all away games because there was so much snow. They had no place to put it so they put it on the ball field to get it off the streets. I don’t think we played our first home game until June.

Elaine: The night that the rink collapsed there was a huge, huge snow storm. I was a cheerleader but I was being punished so I wasn’t allowed to go to the game that night. My girlfriend, a cheerleader, was at the arena. She ran home and called me saying that the arena had collapsed.

Denis: Norm B and I had walked down to the rink together. Norm lived one street up from my house. We went to school together. He was the goalie on the high school team. That year I was the manager. We were playing Berlin High in a junior varsity game. We were playing in the afternoon before the varsity would play which would have meant twenty-five hundred to three thousand people in the arena.

Susan: So many kids would have been killed if it had happened during the Varsity game. Everybody would have been there.

Denis: Before the game started all of a sudden the arena came down. I remember hearing something and just diving underneath the bench. It didn’t come down where I was.
We were the first ones there so we took a quick accounting of who was or who wasn’t there and just started looking. They had me listed as missing for quite awhile but I didn’t know about it until the next day.

Elaine: Of course all of the people of the town if they had shovels, if they had anything, they all started running toward the arena. I remember my older brother and my father going down. A lot of people tried to help, tried to shovel, tried to do whatever they could.

Denis: Very quickly there were hundreds of people there to help. There had been a bunch of players on the ice. Our net was where the biggest piece came down and Norm happened to be where the bulk of the roof landed. When we found him you could see that he had skated away from the net and he was trying to get to the door to get out but he didn’t quite make it. We found him with a beam across him.

Elaine: My boyfriend, Norm B, he was the goalie that died in the collapse. I was about a freshman or sophomore in high school. That was quite a tragic thing for the town. I think Norman was the only one that died in that collapse. Which was enough.

Denis: There were some people that lived in a building attached to the arena, the caretakers, and they were Norm’s Aunt and Uncle. His aunt was washing the dishes, looking out the window, and saw the roof come down.
My father came down and we walked home together and all of a sudden there were all these people on their roofs shoveling. That year they lost a number of buildings. One other person, an older man, was crushed under something if I remember right.

Elaine: It could have been a lot more devastating than it was. Someone was watching over us that night. The arena wasn’t rebuilt for some time after that.

There you have it. It's still very drafty and it's taken awhile to get all the voices to speak together. There are at least 20 more topics that I have had to edit like this. Now I have to weave them all together into one big story and then edit, edit, edit. Slowly but surely!

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